What is Vinyasa?

Ashtanga Vinyasa


A vinyasa links 2 asanas together though the breath and a series of flowing movements. A vinyasa is basically comprised of 5 mouvements:

  1. A jump back from the previous asana
  2. Chaturanga Dandasana (Low Plank Pose)
  3. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)
  4. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
  5. A jump through that links to next asanas.

During the practice of the primary serie, an ashtangi will practice over 40 vinyasas that ensure the transition in between the yogasanas of a serie (see the asanas of the Primary and Secondary and secondary series)

The practice of Vinyasa aims to engage Ujjayi breathing – a breathing technique that slightly contract the throat, while breathing through your nose. it also involves using Bandha (e.g.: Uddiyana bandha, Mula bandha) – an inner lock obtained by contracting an internal belt; and focusing on Drishti – a focal point (e.g.: nose, navel, toes) which allows you to keep your gaze in the desired direction.

Vinyasa strengthen the back, arms and legs; they mainly engage the posterior, but also the anterior chain of the body. It gives flexibility to the spine, shoulders and the back of the legs. Vinyasa realigns the body after a pose and to prepare for the next one. Vinyasa initiated and smoothes the breath.


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